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Reconciliation between groups, the development of inclusive caring, and altruism born of suffering.

Prof. Ervin Staub

ln this talk I will describe what I regard as universal principles and practices of reconciliation. These have to be applied differentially to specific contexts or conditions. I will then discuss our reconciliation projects in East Africa, especially Rwanda but also Burundi and the Congo. We have conducted workshops/trainings, and developed educational radio dramas and informational radio programs, based on our theories about the origins and prevention of genocide, and trauma and healing. The effects of these interventions were evaluated in research, and the programs further shaped by the findings.

Recorded: October 2009, Dubrovnik - Cavtat, Croatia.
Coping & Resilience International Conference

Organiser: The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice

Ervin Staub
Ervin Staub
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Prof. Ervin Staub

I am Professor of Psychology,Emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Founding Director of the Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and the Prevention of Violence. I was born in Hungary, received my Ph.D. at Stanford University, taught at Harvard and was visiting professor at Stanford, the University of Hawaii and the London School of Economic and Political Science.

I have studied the influences that lead to caring, helpful, altruistic behavior and their development in children, the origins of mass violence, especially genocide and mass killing, as well as torture and terrorism, the prevention of group violence, reconciliation in post-conflict settings and the development of positive groups relations, and the role of passive and active bystanders in all these. My books include the two volume Positive social behavior and morality (Volume 1, Social and Personal influence, 1978; Volume 2, Socialization and development, 1979); The roots of evil: The origins of genocide and other group violence (1989); and The psychology of good and evil: Why children, adults and groups help and harm others (2003) and a number of edited and co edited books, including Patriotism in the lives of individuals and nations (1997).

There are several books in progress, all with Oxford University Press: Overcoming evil: genocide, violent conflict and terrorism; Mass violence: Prevention and reconciliation--expected publication date of both is summer of 2010; and The roots of goodness: inclusive caring, moral courage and altruism born of suffering.

I have worked on varied projects in field settings, including the development of a training program for the State of California after the Rodney King incident to reduce the use of unnecessary force by police, teacher training to create classrooms that help children become caring and non-violent, a project in Amsterdam to improve Dutch-Muslim relations, a project in New Orleans to promote healing and reconciliation in the wake of Katrina, a project in Western Massachusetts to train school children in active bystandership in the face of aggressive behavior by their peers towards other peers, and since 1998 varied projects in Rwanda, working with communities, national leaders, journalists, as well as radio dramas and other educational programs in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo, to promote healing, reconciliation and the prevention of new violence. In 2007 the Rwandan radio projects won the Human Rights & Accountability award that was launched by the UN for the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

I am past President of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence: Peace Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and of the International Society for Political Psychology, with awards that include the Chancellors Medal from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Prize of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; the Life-time Contributions to Peace Psychology Award of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence: Peace Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association; the Nevitt Sanford Award for Professional Contributions to Political Psychology from the International Society for Political Psychology; the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress & Genocide; the Jean Meyer award for outstanding leadership from Tufts University; the Max Hayward Award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association for distinguished scholarship in the mental health disciplines that contributes to the elimination of genocide and the remembrance of the Holocaust; the Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies; and as co-recipient with Dr. Laurie Anne Pearlman the Headington Institute’s Award of Recognition, for dedication and commitment to peace, justice and reconciliation

My work has been reported in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. World and News Report and Oprah Magazine, and in appearances on many radio programs, including NPRs All Things considered, Morning Edition and Top of the Nation, and many television programs including the NBC and ABC Evening News, 20/20, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, PBS and others. My book, The roots of evil, inspired a three part television series shown on BBC television in England and the Discovery Channel in the USA.

Profile from "http://www.ervinstaub.com/"

 

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